Rivertown Brewing Company, which debuts its new $6 million Monroe facility at 4 p.m. Friday, gave a sneak peek Wednesday to an invite-only crowd.
Opening day for Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House is set to arrive a little more than seven years after owner Jason Roeper founded Rivertown Brewing’s Lockland brewery at 607 Shepherd Dr. The facility expanded over the years but is nowhere near the size and scope of the new 26,000-square-foot brewery, taproom and restaurant at 6550 Hamilton-Lebanon Road in Monroe.
The new taproom and restaurant space alone is 4,000 square feet, twice the size of its Lockland counterpart, and the food is “exceptional,” said Amy Motsinger, of Madisonville, who ordered Brisket Skillet Hash for an entree during Wednesday night’s preview.
”It’s hands-down 100 percent different” than the Lockland menu, said Amy Motsinger, of Madisonville. “It’s wonderful. The service has been impeccable tonight and to be honest with you, I never went to Lockland for food. It was maybe once or twice or so in the (year or so) they’ve had food there and a much more limited menu without table-to-table service.”
Gene Schneider, of West Chester Twp., who ordered the Taco Trio, said each dish had amazing flavor, including a “really, really awesome” appetizer with won tons, jalapenos and a cherry sauce.
Schneider said he is glad to have an establishment like Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House so close to home, lauding its atmosphere, service and food, as well as the 10 flatscreen televisions lining the wall behind the bar.
“You’re always looking for a hometown place to go have food at instead of one of the chains,” he said. “I can see myself coming here for any of the big games.”
The sprawling structure sits on eight acres on the corner of Salzman Road and Ohio 63, three-and-a-half miles west of the Interstate 75 interchange that sees thousands of motorists exit daily to visit Cincinnati Premium Outlets and Miami Valley Gaming and on weekends for Traders World.
Roeper announced plans to bring the brewery to that prime location in November 2015 and the facility broke ground last June.
The taproom boasts a 30-tap line-up including 20 Rivertown beers and 10 offerings from other area breweries. The taproom also will serve other local libations, including wine from Valley Vineyards in Morrow and liquor from StillWrights Distillery in Fairborn and Watershed Distillery in Columbus.
The restaurant’s menu features a mix of classic barbecue recipes and styles with some modern twists, including items like Brisket Skillet Hash, Burnt End Deviled Eggs, Yaca Street Tacos with a slow-smoked Jackfruit that Jason Roeper says “tastes exactly like pulled pork” and much more.
All dishes are infused with something from Rivertown Brewing, Roeper said.
“We actually inject our brisket with our Death (brew),” he said. “We inject our pork with our Solace and our cider-based Tequilana in our slaw. We brine our turkey with our lager and our chili is cooked with our IPA.”
The taproom and restaurant open the public from 4 p.m Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday. Hours following Friday’s grand opening will be 10 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday with the kitchen open until 10 p.m.; 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday with the kitchen open until 11 p.m.; and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday with the kitchen open until close of business.